A quick flick through the TV guide and it’s pretty clear that us Aussies like to keep it ‘real’. Whether we’re watching weight loss challenges, Real housewives, or a blockful of home reno rumblers or masterful amateur chefs slugging it out to rule the kitchen, you can’t swing a cat in TV land without running into a reality show.

Despite their name, there’s one thing we all know about these shows—they’re not actually real!

Real is trying to find a good day care, negotiating school drop-offs when you’re running late for work, the milk mysteriously disappearing even though you just bought 3 litres of the stuff, discovering miscellaneous stains on the front of your shirt that you didn’t put there and cuddles in the night with a little person scared of the dark.

Sadly for too many Aussie families the reality of daily life is not just a struggle, it’s a battle. Recent UNICEF research shows that disadvantaged children in Australia are falling further behind than many other developed countries. But unfortunately it seems we’re out of touch with this reality.

According to a Galaxy research commissioned by Real Insurance, over half of the country (57%) believes that Australia is well above average when it comes to looking after disadvantaged people in the community. And yet, over three quarters (77%) of us underestimate the number of children in need requiring welfare in Australia.

Thanks to a new community grants program by Real Insurance, when it comes to the reality of the daily grind for struggling Aussie families, it’s time to change the channel. Real Needs is a $1 million program providing grants to community organisations that work with disadvantaged or under privileged children in Australia.

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How does it work?

The Real Needs community grant program provides grants to not-for-profit organisations working with young people in need, including registered charities, school Parent & Children’s Associations, community groups and services, sporting clubs and hospital community programs. Real Insurance is encouraging a range of organisations to apply including those you’d expect to be helping out kids, like children’s charities, learning programs and sporting clubs. But they’re also offering the opportunity to support programs many of us might not think about, such as children’s domestic violence retreats, agricultural training programs, indigenous community centres and homeless shelters for children. Now that’s a reality check—there are children in this country without homes, without bedrooms and without beds.


Grants of $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 in value will be allocated monthly, with one shortlisted applicant selected by Real Insurance staff to receive the ‘staff’s choice’ award. It’s a helping hand for those who really need it.

How does it help?

By supporting and working with community organisations, Real Insurance is making a real contribution to the children, families and communities who need it most. The Real Needs program helps the helpers, letting those on the frontline of addressing the growing issues faced by Australia’s young people get on and do what they do best. It’s support that is much needed, gives back to the community and will make a real difference to lives of Aussie kids in need.


What can I do?

Spread the word! Did we mention there’s a stash of cash just looking for a home? Maybe you volunteer at a local community organisation battling to pay the bills. Maybe your school P&C has a good idea for a new way to give back to the community but has no way to make it happen without some extra cash. Or maybe you just know someone who knows someone who is dedicated to helping kids in need. If you or someone you know could make use of some money to help our most vulnerable children, go to the Real Needs website to find out more or nominate your chosen charity through Real Insurance Facebook and Twitter pages.


Applications for the next round of funding close on the 30 August, 2015. Eligible organisations can apply online at the Real Needs website.